Meet Eleganza!, one of First Avenue's best new bands: "We want people to either fuck or fight"

Categories: Q&A

Photo by Cyn Collins
I liked when you interjected "This is a tender Merle moment." Chooglin' was a lot of hard-driving songs, and now you've got some country, some tearjerkers and scorchers in there . . .

AV: Its because he's in love.

JJ: There's nothing wrong with flexing your love muscle, Brian. Come on!

GM: It's in you; you've got to let it out!

BV: It's just something different. I like to sing, number one! And, this band! I love Chooglin', trust me.

JJ: Chooglin' was like 10, all the way through. We never let up. At first you start playing fast and loud - as you get older, then you wanna like [gesture for slow down]. Hopefully you're comfortable with sharing it with other people and hopefully it relays to an audience and is reciprocated. I don't know any band that comes out of the gate and just wants to play, like, love songs. It just never happens. It happens as a natural progression. We're like any other band that starts playing loud and fast, and gets older and mellows out. And hopefully we can flex both muscles.

BV: We're well-rounded individuals! We can give it to you hard and fast! We can give it to you slow and smooth.

[Dagos arrive, people dig in.]

BV: Oh . . . I didn't know you could get those . . .

AV: Why do you think we came here?

Do you have any recordings or other shows in the works?

BV: We are doing a recording of one of the Beck sheet music pieces for the Current. After this show, we're going to go into the studio to record some songs. We're working on nailing them.

Do you guys all write songs?

BV: Paul wrote two, I wrote two and Jeff wrote two.

Jeff you were with Chooglin' until when, and then you came back?

BV: He played bass on all the records through Sweet Time. Then Paul took over and played on the recordings that aren't released. Paul went to Europe with us, did all the Norway stuff, and Jeff went to L.A.

JJ: I was the only person who went to L.A. that was running away from a record deal. It was hilarious. Everyone wants to be in a band and get signed there. I've never done anything the way its supposed to be done.

Please tell us about the other bands you've all been with . . .

AV: We'll be here all night! The longest one I was in was called Blues and Orphans. That was for eight years. And I was in a lame cover band for a couple years doing stupid casino gigs. It was money though.

JJ: That's nothing like when I was touring with the Jets. It was easy money though! But did I like it? No.

GM: I played with Glenrustles, Ol' Yeller . . .

BV: Midnight Evils, Chooglin' . . .

PW: I was in a lot of Jersey bands. I was in the E Street Band for a moment. And Bon Jovi.

Are you serious?!

PW: Yeah! [Jokes] Technically, I still am!

Is there anything you'd like to say about what distinguishes you from the rest of the bands?

We're a lot older than everybody else.

PW: Grey hair!

AV: 200 years of combined experience.

What are you bringing to the Best New Bands show?

PW: The bass.

AV: Cornstarch.

I'll let these guys field it. I'm just going to show up with what I need to know, and that's it.

BV: My commando pants . . .

AV: I'm going to bring Burt Reynolds.

BV [murmurs with a sly grin]:
Greg knows Prince personally. So I think Prince will be coming . . .

Radio K Presents: Best New Bands of 2012
First Avenue Mainroom/7 p.m./18+/$7
Also fe: The Chalice, Wiping Out Thousands, John Mark Nelson, Actual Wolf, Strange Names and Bomba De Luz
Hosted by: David Campbell (89.3 The Current), Jason Nagel (Cities 97) and Chase Mathey (Radio K) More info here.

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